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The Glory That Was Greece. Focus Question  How did Greek thinkers, artists, and writers explore the nature of the universe and people’s place in it?.

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the glory that was greece

The Glory That Was Greece

Focus Question 

How did Greek thinkers, artists, and writers explore the nature of the universe and people’s place in it?

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Greek thinkers, artists, and writers explored the nature of the universe and the place of people in it. To later admirers, Greek achievements in the arts represented the height of human development in the Western world. They looked back with deep respect on what one poet called “the glory that was Greece.”
philosophers lovers of wisdom
Greek thinkers challenged the belief that events were caused by the whims of gods. Instead, they used observation and reason to find causes for events. The Greeks called these thinkers philosophers, meaning “lovers of wisdom.” Philosophers: Lovers of Wisdom
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Greek philosophers explored many subjects, from mathematics and music to logic, or rational thinking. Through reason and observation, they believed, they could discover laws that governed the universe. Much modern science traces its roots to the Greek search for such principles
socrates questions tradition
One outspoken critic of the Sophists was Socrates, an Athenian stonemason and philosopher. Most of what we know about Socrates comes from his student Plato. Socrates himself wrote no books. Instead, he passed his days in the town square asking people about their beliefs. Using a process we now call the Socratic method, he would pose a series of questions to a student or passing citizen, and challenge them to examine the implications of their answers Socrates Questions Tradition
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When he was about 70 years old, Socrates was put on trial. His enemies accused him of corrupting the city’s youth and failing to respect the gods. Standing before a jury of 501 citizens, Socrates offered a calm and reasoned defense. But the jurors condemned him to death. Loyal to the laws of Athens, Socrates accepted the death penalty. He drank a cup of hemlock, a deadly poison.
plato envisions a perfect society
The execution of Socrates left Plato with a lifelong distrust of democracy. He fled Athens for 10 years. When he returned, he set up a school called the Academy. There, he taught and wrote about his own ideas Plato Envisions A Perfect Society
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In his book The Republic, Plato described his vision of an ideal state. He rejected Athenian democracy because it had condemned Socrates just as it tended to other excesses. Instead, Plato argued that the state should regulate every aspect of its citizens’ lives in order to provide for their best interests
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He divided his ideal society into three classes: workers to produce the necessities of life, soldiers to defend the state, and philosophers to rule. This elite class of leaders would be specially trained to ensure order and justice. The wisest of them, a philosopher-king, would have the ultimate authority.
aristotle pursues the golden mean
Plato’s most famous student, Aristotle, developed his own ideas about government. He analyzed all forms of government, from monarchy to democracy, and found good and bad examples of each. Like Plato, he was suspicious of democracy, which he thought could lead to mob rule. In the end, he favored rule by a single strong and virtuous leader Aristotle Pursues the Golden Mean
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He left writings on politics, ethics, logic, biology, literature, and many other subjects. When the first European universities evolved some 1,500 years later, their courses were based largely on the works and ideas of Aristotle.
monumental architecture
Greek architects sought to convey a sense of perfect balance to reflect the harmony and order of the universe. The most famous example of Greek architecture is the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. Monumental Architecture
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Greek architecture has been widely admired for centuries. Today, many public buildings throughout the world have incorporated Greek architectural elements, such as columns, in their designs.
artists craft lifelike human forms
Early Greek sculptors carved figures in rigid poses, perhaps imitating Egyptian styles. By 450 B.C., Greek sculptors had developed a new style that emphasized more natural forms. While their work was lifelike, it was also idealistic. That is, sculptors carved gods, goddesses, athletes, and famous men in a way that showed human beings in their most perfect, graceful form. Artists Craft Lifelike Human Forms
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The only Greek paintings to survive are on pottery. They offer intriguing views of every day Greek life. Women carry water from wells, warriors race into battle, and athletes compete in javelin contests. Each scene is designed to fit the shape of the pottery.